As I wrote in the last blog post, there was a new documentary about Friedrich Nietzsche last week, so this week is dedicated to discussion about him, and how I suddenly realised, about ten years into the greenYgrey, how much his philosophy had in common with the concept; and as his ideas preceded mine, and I had read them, then they had probably been a strong influence all along. Here’s how they emerged near the end of the seventh chapter of nine, in XaW Files, when I still didn’t know how the rambling journey was going to proceed and end.
The philosophical discussion was included in a fictional meeting with real Wolfsburg people, a la Spitting Image and Simpsons, after the epic Euro hike arrived in the German city. From Chapter 7 Episode 14:
For an artistic input I chose Wolfgang Müller of Die Tödliche Doris (The Deadly Doris) fame. His background in performance art meant he seemed like somebody who would know Andy Warhol, if not our Wolfhol, and is also an expert in elves and other fairytale creatures.
Secondly, I chose Alexandra Popp of the VfR Eintracht Wolfsburg football team. They not only won the Women’s European Champions League in 2013 and 2014, but also play in green and grey, and have an X on the front of their shirts, as our Andy Wolfhol now has in front of his name. Popp was initially chosen because her name reminded me of Vladimir Propp, who studied fairytales, but then it sunk into my conscious that her surname is POP with an extra P, like the art movement made famous by Warhol, and adapted for the twenty-first century by Wolfhol’s PinkyOrangePurple sunrise and sunset POP twilight times.
Thirdly, I added the EHC Wolfsburg Grizzly Adams ice-hockey team, because their name was influenced by an old television series favourite of mine, and they also support a local bear park.
The next chapter Nietzsche philosophy debate continues after this Wolfsburg greenYgrey relevance images collage:
This is a philosophical discussion, bringing academia to the people, as I have tried to be the people’s (and animals) doctor of philosophy over the last decade. If you can’t take philosophical debate, then please don’t read. As for me, I’ll be watching the footie tonight with the rest of the flock, after doing my individual things during the day; in a beautiful greenYgrey combination of aspiration and cooperation.
Chapter 7 Episode 15
I might have known our debate would ramble on into the night, and even a long morning of a midsummer week. Once we started on Nietzsche I knew there was no easy exit. We would have to sit, read, concentrate and absorb… all the time using up the battery, gambling against common sense, trying to better a straightforward travel episode waiting to be written… hoping to unearth something more… something monumental… rising high from a deep base… digging as deep as one can safely go… something that would bring us more knowledge about us and our place in the world, or worlds.
Knowing Me, Knowing Nietzsche
Do you need to read extensively to be a great philosopher? To debate properly probably, but not to think; you only need to read to know what has been said before, and sometimes it provides inspiration for new thoughts. Isn’t it all age-related anyway, with new knowledge showing that most of the great thinkers were only right some of the time, and often not much of the time, greenYgrey style.
I knew Nietzsche before I knew wereselves, but now know wereselves more. We didn’t feel we’d outgrown Nietzsche, or become something bigger; just forgotten what an influence he was on us.
I wondered if I met Nietzsche in person, whether he’d try and take credit for influencing me to read him, or if he’d accept that he was just the thinker, and somebody or something else introduced his philosophy to me.
Although I joked that Buddha and Socrates were the only philosophers above me when I entered the human world, I didn’t really think I am better than Nietzsche, and many of the other philosophers I’ve met before and on this ramble.
I don’t know if I’m not as good, but I know I am too late… too late to be original about most things anyway, with only the piecing together of others’ ideas in new concepts left to me.
Can I even access the thinking process of Nietzsche and the others? If Nietzsche was like a shepherd to his flock, would he consider me a fellow shepherd or one of his flock: I’m metaphorically eating well because the grass has grown since Nietzsche departed, thinking I’ve become fuller in knowledge because time has brought new findings; but am I really still eating from his field, with the walls still the same, and me a flock member unable to see over them like he the shepherd could?
I tidied up the above paragraph on an afternoon after a twelve miles run, when I had a couple of naps within a few hours as my mind felt exhausted. I had forgotten to summarise episode 14, so put 15’s summary in 14, bringing me back to this episode the next morning. After a good sleep and two mugs of coffee I then added the following three paragraphs:
Are the walls of society always the same through time, or do they change? And are they really there, or is it all in the individual’s mind? Some people probably don’t think/see walls at all, and is that because the walls aren’t there, or because they don’t realise they are there, as a shepherd knows the whats and whys of walls, but the flock doesn’t.
The flock are probably better off not knowing. They have each other, and don’t know the shepherd’s life and reality, and why they are being kept within the walls. They follow each other, thinking themselves the wisest, only listening to the shepherd under duress, in their own world, eating the grass provided.
And maybe that is the best life for them, as safe as possible from predators. For some, a life running wild in the mountains would probably be preferable, but not for all. Many would probably prefer being in warm conditions in winter than out in the snow, where many perish from the cold.
greenYgrey Cultural Background
One side of our debate argued that Nietzsche foresaw the greenYgrey, another thought that he could have helped create the greenYgrey, while another said the greenYgrey would have been too trivial to interest him at all.
When my Y asked why we thought Nietzsche would not be interested in it, we had to tell it that it was just another form of something Nietzsche already knew, as he had talked about ‘the beautiful middle’ representing real Greek tragedy, between the Dionysian confusion and Apollonian clarity.
After giving our perspectives, we re-read that Nietzsche had invented the concept of perspectivism, in line with his belief that there would be no universal perspective in the future: no objective truths; rather, there would be ones that would always be changing and different, dependent on time, individual and society.
I thought our philosophical debate may fill half this episode, but never imagined it would overrun to nearly the end of page 2, meaning it is time to bid you adieu. This was meant to be Germany’s last episode, but the fact that Nietzsche considered himself stateless for much of his adult life, and more Polish than German, I guess means that there was very little of Germany in it… apart from the Wolfsburg debaters of course… of whom I am still very a-were…
Wikipedia on Nietzsche: He notes that whenever Apollonian culture dominates, the Dionysian lacks the structure to make a coherent art, and when Dionysian dominates, the Apollonian lacks the necessary passion. Only the beautiful middle, the interplay of these two forces, brought together as an art represented real Greek tragedy.
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